Using Functional Brain Mapping we are able to more accurately diagnose and treat a variety of cognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders. Brain mapping technology allows us to map various networks in the brain, such as the attention, language or pain network. We can determine if these various networks are functioning normally by comparing patients’ results to a normative database. The normative database is comprised of healthy age and gender matched individuals.
Once abnormalities are detected, we then compare these deviations with the patient’s functional test results on various tests of cognition, emotion and behavior. This allows us to determine if the brain mapping abnormalities are clinically significant. In other words, are the abnormalities causing or contributing to the patient’s problems.
Neuropsychological testing is used to assess a patient’s functioning. This is a battery of tests that assess various cognitive domains such as information processing speed, attention, learning, memory and executive systems. Emotional and behavioral assessments are also included. These tests are combined with a comprehensive medical history, neurological and psychiatric examination.
We use electrical neuroimaging brain mapping techniques. The advantage of this brain mapping technique is the capacity for the examiner to assess without delay changes in the brain while the patient completes various cognitive tests. Another advantage of this technique is the large normative and various clinical comparison databases that are available for comparing a patient’s Functional Brain Mapping results. Currently, the largest normative and clinical databases of brain imaging data have been developed from electrical neuroimaging techniques. These databases continue to be cross validated with multiple other functional brain mapping techniques such as functional MRI. Using source analysis software, brain topography and tomography imaging not only has excellent temporal (time) resolution, but structural location can be computed throughout the cortex including the limbic system. Spatial resolution as precise as a 3 mm area of localization using standardized MRI imaging templates can be visualized. Another advantage, and perhaps this is the most important advantage, electrical neuroimaging can also be used as an intervention.
Interventional Brain Mapping
Neuromodulation treatment applications such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), rapid transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and EEG Neurofeedback can be used to treat clinically significant brain abnormalities detected on brain mapping. Among these various neuromodulation applications, Neurofeedback currently has the widest clinical applications. Although Neurofeedback has been used as a clinical tool since the 1960s, brain mapping neurofeedback is a relatively recent development dating back to approximately 2008. This technology uses advancements made over the past 15 years mapping multiple brain circuits responsible for a plethora of human experiences; from basic functions such as sustaining wakefulness to transcended states of euphoria.
Clinically, brain mapping Neurofeedback is used around the globe as a treatment application to alter brain networks that are not functioning at their optimal levels. Brain mapping Neurofeedback is also being used to enhance functions such as reaction time and decision speed in individuals who are functioning in highly competitive environments.
For additional information on these and other recently developed diagnostic tests, treatment interventions and peak performance training – please call the NeuroCognitive Institute and schedule a consultation.
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Scientific Readings on Functional Brain Mapping
Functional Brain Mapping and the Endeavor to Understand the Working Brain: Signorelli and Chirchiglia (2013).
Mind Over Chatter: Plastic up-regulation of the fMRI salience network directly after EEG Neurofeedback. Neuroimage, 65, 324-335.